The number of unemployed increased 1.02 million from a year earlier to 4.16 million in May, while employment declined 869 thousand to 28.27 million. The non-farm sector lost 562 thousand jobs, mainly in the construction sector; and the farm sector lost 307 thousand jobs. Meanwhile, the number of people detached from the labour force increased 619 thousand to 28.92 million. The labour force participation rate dropped to 52.9 percent from 53.3 percent a year earlier and the employment rate went down to 46.1 percent from 48.1 percent.
The non-agricultural jobless rate climbed to 15.0 percent in May from 11.6 percent in the previous year.
Youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, also rose sharply to 23.3 percent from 17.8 percent in the same month a year ago.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rate rose to 14.0 percent in May from 13.8 percent in April.